The cognitive-affective processing system (CAPS) has been proposed as a useful metaframework for integrating contextual differences in situations with individual differences in personality pathology. In this article, we evaluated the potential of combining the CAPS metaframework and contemporary interpersonal theory to investigate how individual differences in pathological narcissism influenced interpersonal functioning in daily life. University students (N = 184) completed event-contingent reports about interpersonal interactions across a 7-day diary study. Using multilevel regression models, we found that combinations of narcissistic expression (grandiosity, vulnerability) were associated with different interpersonal behavior patterns reflective of interpersonal dysfunction. These results are among the first to empirically demonstrate the usefulness of the CAPS model to conceptualize personality pathology through the patterning of if-then interpersonal processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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